William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Never Adopt The Enemy’s Language

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We should never adopt the enemy’s language. It unnecessarily concedes him a victory and lessens our ability to think and to argue. Listen to Orwell! I was reminded of this by Dover Beach, who at Twitter points us to the Maverick Philosopher, where that gentleman gives the same admonition.

Take ‘homophobia.’

A phobia is a fear, but not every fear is a phobia. A phobia is an irrational fear. One who argues against the morality of homosexual practices, or gives reasons for opposing same-sex marriage is precisely — presenting arguments, and not expressing any phobia. The arguments may or may not be cogent. But they are expressive of reason, and are intended to appeal to the reason of one’s interlocutor. To dismiss them as an expression of a phobia show a lack of respect for reason and for the persons who proffer the arguments.

Do not say homosexual (or gay; the former word is not preferred among this crowd by all either). The word has admitted use, as in a man who at certain periods in his life imagines or indulges predominately or exclusively in same-sex activities. But this sense has almost disappeared, to be replaced by something like this: a man who is not a man but something else, something superior to men in certain ways, and who imagines, etc. When most hear homosexual they imagine a creature that is exactly the same as a man—equal in every way!—but who is also not a man, a human of a genetically or biologically different sex, a kind of super hero with special powers, and a person who has attained perhaps the highest status anyone can reach in our culture, a Victim.

The old word was sodomite, but this is now seen as highly offensive. It merely means a man who at certain periods of his life imagines or indulges in same-sex activities, but it carries the connotation of sinfulness and disgust. Everybody knows what happened to Sodom and why. And that is unbearable. Still, using it can cause a man’s ears to stop up faster than a commode in a Florida retirement park the morning after Free Hot Dog Day.

You might consider same-sex attracted, but I fear this term will morph in the current homosexual. Best to avoid words classifying a man, and instead write of what he has done. The serious medical literature recognizes this and uses the acronym MSM, which stands for men who have sex with men. This isn’t quite right, since men can only have sex with women. But it’s close, and it captures the “Bs” in “LGBT” as well as the “Gs” and “Ts”.

Don’t say climate change. That term is also meaningful, but only in a sense that has also been forgotten. The old, scientific definition is obvious, but it carried the sensible and true notion that the climate has always changed, always will, and that changes cannot be stopped. The term is now laden with political baggage with the sense the climate is changing solely or mostly because of man, and that any change can be stopped by man. Say global warming instead. They promised global warming, not “climate change.” Make them stick to their promises.

Don’t say sex change or (sex) transitioning. There is and can be no such thing. Sex is fixed. It is not assigned, as some now falsely state. Sex is a biological reality; everything else is fantasy. Sexual intercourse is only between men and women; everything else is a corruption. Do not say trans-man or trans-woman. Instead say mentally ill person or man pretending to be a woman, etc.

Don’t say doctor-assisted suicide. Say hospital- or government-appointed (or assigned) killing, and when speaking of the act say executed or killed.

Don’t say had an abortion. Say killed the life inside her. Don’t in this context say choice. Say chose to kill.

Don’t say budget cut. Say smaller than desired increase in spending, or just spending increase.

Before I ask for your suggestions, let’s give Maverick the last word.

Language matters.

Why does language matter? Because clear thinking matters, and language is the medium of thought.

Why does clear thinking matter? Because clear thinking is truth-conducive.

Why does truth matter? Because living according to the truth is conducive to human flourishing.

How many truthophobes will react negatively to these admonitions? And what are your suggestions?

62 Comments

  1. Do not say pro-choice, say pro-infanticide.

    Do not say trans(anything), say mentally ill. You can also add “in need of love and care” in case your audience is prone to viewing the positive as normative.

  2. And apparently I was skim-reading and just repeated what Briggs already said. Apologies.

  3. An Orwellian exercise, if there was one. Who will compile this?

    I am reminded of L Ron Hubbard who created a whole dictionaries of words to be used by Scientologists
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/179169.Dianetics_and_Scientology_Technical_Dictionary
    That’s the Technical Dictionary, there’s also an Admin volume
    Here’s on online abridged version:
    http://www.bible.ca/scientology-dictonary-terms.htm

  4. Diversity.

    My comment was not diverse enough as there is now a lower limit on word count.

  5. “Do not say trans(anything), say mentally ill. ”

    mentally ill fats? Hmm, that doesn’t seem to work.

  6. Speaking if using language correctly.

    ‘The word has admitted use, as in a man who at certain periods in his life imagines or indulges predominately or exclusively in same-sex activities…’

    So by this reasoning ‘heterosexual’ has admitted use, as in a man who at certain periods in his life imagines or indulges predominately or exclusively in opposite-sex activities.

    In this reasoning all men must be bisexual – probably true since nature is not binary but distributes over a bell curve – who at certain periods imagines or indulges in… etc.

    Of course you confuse two distinct things: that is sexuality and sexual activity, in the same way one might confuse hunger with eating. The latter is under voluntary control, the former not.

    The ‘homo’ is from Greek meaning ‘same’ not ‘homo’ from Latin meaning ‘man’.

    Homsexuals are then individuals who are attracted… that is an internal complex chemical reaction beyond voluntary or ‘imagined’ control… to individuals of the same sex.

    I wonder what you will make of the line from the Credo… et homo factus est? Jesus wqs made a Gay? Even Pontius Pilate exclaimed, Ecce homo.

    And speaking of homophobia, whilst I generally concur the word and ‘phobia’ is misused, it quite clear from what you say you are poorly informed about and discomforted by homosexuality and seek to justify this to hide the fear that arises from ignorance.

    Since homos present no threat, that fear is indeed irrational, so on occasion the term homophobia is warrented.

  7. MattS

    mentally ill fats? Hmm, that doesn’t seem to work.

    According to the NannyState, you’d have to be mentally ill to consume transfats and subject to incarceration for your own protection and that of society.

  8. I refer to people who have had the sexual characteristics of one sex replaced with that of the opposite sex as “aftermarket hermaphrodites”. Considering that going on 50 of these after market hermaphrodites (so called fathers) have given birth to their own children, it seems appropriate.

    Many professions have their own language. Dentists number teeth and use cute terms like distal, mesial, and buccal. Medical uses terms that are not found in common language. In part, this keeps the profession elevated because only they know the language, but at the same time, it adds to the precision of their language. If it adds precision, that would be a reason for the use thereof.

    Scotian: I notice the same thing. Comments with only one word are not allowed.

    John B: Your refusal to accept arguments against homosexuality does not mean they do not exist. Summarily dismissing them would qualify as a fear reaction. Also, as I always have to point out, pedophilia is “sexuality” also but these people are forbidden to act on it. Is that pedophobia?

  9. Scotian / Sheri:

    It’s worse than you think!

    I once tried to submit a three word comment and it bounced

    John B is exactly why I adopted John B() as my user name – Never mind I like the mathematical/computer connotation – (at one point in my life I wanted to change John to Jonh but way too many people wouldn’t understaand

  10. Briggs

    October 7, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Scotian,

    Thanks. Let me check into this. I don’t think it’s the spam filter plug in I use, because that has a different nature. Might be WordPress itself. I’m not sure I can tinker with it, but I’l check.

    Update Okay, it is the spam filter. Comments have to be a minimum of 15 characters (including spaces). I think I’ll keep that as it isn’t especially burdensome to have comments three or more words in length.

  11. Though I do like “aftermarket hermaphrodites” I think I’ll just stick with calling men who pretend to be women men and women who pretend to be men women.

  12. If “sodomite” is too offensive, maybe “the ‘S’ word?”

  13. Like lesbian was derived from the name of the Greek isle Lesbos perhaps a new word for male same sex attraction could be derived from a prominent sodomite or another location where sodomites were welcome.

    Prominent homosexuals, anyone?

    Provincetown, Key West, San Francisco?

  14. What about “buggery” and “buggerer”? I find it a less hostile and more humorous substitute for “sodomy/sodomite”. Or does that count as British English, inferior to our United Statesian dialect?

  15. Joe C,

    biggery and bugerer are acceptable as long as you also use the term catamite.

  16. argh darn auto correct.

  17. Enemy? Mr. Briggs, you are out of your mind.

  18. JH:

    Rather cultish, eh? See earlier comment about LRH and Scientology

  19. So then you are “pro-pollution,” right?

    JMJ

  20. JMJ

    DestroytoSave the Planet

  21. Sander van der Wal

    October 7, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    @Yawrate

    The word you are looking for is ‘Utrechtenaar’, after Utrecht, a city in The Netherlands.

  22. Politics is Orwellian…

    People’s Democratic Republics – are kingdoms
    Liberals, democrats, progressives – are facists
    Facists -are menshevik communists
    Communists – are feudalist monarchists
    judeophobia – all modern “phopias” are hates, not fears

    Sadly, I could go on all day (sigh )

  23. Ye Olde Statistician

    October 7, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    I wonder what you will make of the line from the Credo… et homo factus est?

    Except there it is Latin and not Greek. It means “human” (and is the root thereof). The word for a male is vir.

  24. JMJ: Another totally unoriginal thought.

    John B: People who sacrifice goats and drink the blood are not harming anyone. So you’re okay with this going on? Can they kill the goat on their front lawn? After all, no one has to watch if they don’t want to. If you’re harming no one then it’s okay to act in any way you want, isn’t it?

  25. Briggs

    October 7, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    All,

    Transgender officer who spent $50,000 to become a woman slams US Army rules that force soldiers to keep calling her ‘sir’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3263746/Transgender-officer-spent-50-000-woman-slams-U-S-Army-rules-force-soldiers-calling-sir.html

    Or, man pretending to be woman upset that others won’t pretend, too, and so wants to force others to pretend.

  26. I’m confused (I could be wrong – I certainly might not be a woman)

    As long as there have been women officers I THOUUGHT in certain situations they were referred to as “Sir”. Is “Ma’am” more right, or…

    It says she’s a Mother of three but from the article she was first a Father of three! She’s STILL married to the woman she married as a man but now she’s a WOMAN BUT A WOMAN from LESBO!!!!!

    Oh my GOD! I feel like the Android from STTOS “I Mudd” when Spock tells him that “Logic is a little tweeting bird!” “Norman, Coordinate!” “Norman!” “Mother!” “Mother! MAKE ITT STOP!”
    (There I go mixing metaphors as my mind is wrapped gently around a brick and thrown through a plate glass window!)

  27. “Don’t say had an abortion. Say killed the life inside her. Don’t in this context say choice. Say chose to kill.”

    Please do and after your gang will have lost your livelyhood after defamation lawsuit you will come to grip with the power of words.

    Legal defamation is this:

    “Any intentional false communication, either written or spoken, that harms a person’s reputation; decreases the respect, regard, or confidence in which a person is held; or induces disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings against a person.”

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/defamation

    Calling someone a murderer/killer which he is provably not makes for great defamation cases and heavy settlement. How much do you have to lose?

  28. Sylvain

    Just our freedom when there’s nothing left to lose.

  29. Do you have any precedent for that, Sylvain? A lot of pro-lifers have called a lot of abortionists murderers in the last forty-two years (not so much with women who’ve had abortions, but it would be the “doctors” with reputations to protect). I don’t say none of em lost defamation suits; just that I haven’t heard of one.

    And surely the claim that “she killed the life inside her” is strictly true, truth being an absolute defence in a defamation suit.

  30. John B (): Check out the pictures of the pregnant “dads”. Now that your brain has been pitched out a window, the trauma will not be so great. Imagine these kids telling their classmates that their dad was actually who gave birth to them. Better yet, what does the kid say when his classmates laugh and ask how that works. “My dad is really a woman and a man both because today surgery can make you anything you want to be. Stop laughing–that’s just MEAN”. What can I say—denying biology is denying science.

  31. John b()

    Freedom is never boundless, unless you consider your own freedom to be superior to others. Freedom is also not devoid of consequences.

    You cannot say something that is provably wrong and causes damages to someone and then use the freedom of speech to defend your case. Freedom of speech can permit you to say that you believe that abortion is murder. It does not permit you to say that mme X is a murderer or killer because she had an abortion. In this case, an abortion which is a choice that a woman can make legally make which proves she is not a murderer. Just like George Zimmerman cannot be called a murderer for the death of Trevon Martin, no matter how much one might disagree with the verdict.

    One of the favorite argument of the so called “pro-life” movement (as long as gun are not included because well stuff happens) is that prenancy is not an illness. It is quite strange that something that is not an illness as a higher mortality rate at 17.6/100000 live birththan the murder rate at 5/100000 people.

    http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternalinfanthealth/pmss.html
    http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/VC.IHR.PSRC.P5

    The breast cancer mortality rate stands at 21/100000 women per year very simmilar to the pregnancy death rate.

    http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternalinfanthealth/pmss.html

  32. acricketchirps,

    Not sure that anyone has sued for that in the US. But if it were me I would for sure.
    Here is a simmilar case:

    http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2011/jul/29/joanna-yeates-national-newspapers

    “And surely the claim that “she killed the life inside her” is strictly true, truth being an absolute defence in a defamation suit.”

    Sorry but for the court a foetus is not alive which is the true status of the feotus.

    Is a chicken alive because it run after you chopped of its head? No.

    Does the cell of a foetus being alive means that a person is alive? No

    Does the fact that a foetus kick and move means it is alive? No. Dead body can twitch for a while after being declared dead and skin cells still grow for a while after death. For you to be right about the foetus being alive would mean that all cell would die at the exact same time which is not the case.

  33. Pretty neat trick, Sylvain, comparing the death rate in pregnancy to live births, the mortality rate for breast cancer to ALL women and the murder rate to ALL PEOPLE and casually acting as though it were apple to apples to apples instead of pin cherries to canteloupes to watermelons.

  34. Gosh. I’m dead and and never realized it. I too, can kick, twitch, move around and MY hair and nails continue to grow! So long, CW*; been nice.

    * Cruel World

  35. Your case, isn’t really on point Syl. It can be shown that Ms Yeates was never in fact alive. You see, witnesses recall having seen her move about and testified that her hair and nails grew.

  36. Ye Olde Statistician

    October 7, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    for the court a foetus is not alive which is the true status of the feotus.

    What if a court holds that a Jew is not really a person?

    Is a chicken alive because it run after you chopped of its head?

    It may live for a few moments, but it is just as doomed as a liberal who has lost his head.

    Does the cell of a foetus being alive means that a person is alive?

    Of course not.

    Does the fact that a foetus kick and move means it is alive?

    It’s generally a good indicator that it’s animate.

    Dead body can twitch for a while after being declared dead and skin cells still grow for a while after death.

    Heck, there have been cases of the dead body sitting up on the morgue table wanting to know what was going on.

    Death throes generally mean the body is dying, not that it is dead. And I don’t know if the skin cell business is as much an urban legend as the growing fingernails and hair.

    Really, Sylvain, the existence of dawn and dusk do not invalidate the distinction between night and day.

    For you to be right about the foetus being alive would mean that all cell would die at the exact same time

    Explain why you think that would be the case, for it makes no sense to me.

  37. acricketchirps,

    And why should you include non-pregnant woman? A woman cannot die of pregnancy if she is not pregnant, but any women can die of cancer before it is diagnosed. Even more in the USA where not everyone has access to health care.

    What do you remember of the time spent in your mothers womb? Nothing because you had no conscience at the time while some people do remember of early moment of life outside the womb. Consciousness is very important in determining if a human is alive or not.

    And the point of the link is to be careful when calling someone a murderer.

  38. Ye Olde Statistician

    October 7, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    A woman cannot die of pregnancy if she is not pregnant

    Nor can there be dysfunctional families if there are no families, no abusive fathers if there are no fathers, no fraudulent science if there is no science. Sylvain, you are a fountainhead of ideas.

  39. Hello all, let me put a word in for not responding to those who fall heir to “invincible ignorance”…why let them take up your time and energy by fallacious arguments? They can’t contribute to the advancement of one’s knowledge, and they (because of invincible ignorance) can’t be convinced by reason. So, let them spout, if it helps ease whatever neuroses they may be heir to.

  40. Bob,

    Glad to see that you recognize yourself as an invincible ignorant. There is hope for you (very little) that someday you will learn something. For example that you are partly of Arab origin. Really bad for someone who hates Arab like you do.

  41. Let me add that I regard any one who advocates abortion(except possibly for saving the life of the mother) as guilty of sin as the Islamic terrorists who advocate killing Christians and Jews. And as for the abortionists themselves, if they take innocent life, then what is that but murder?

  42. Fr. John Rickert

    October 7, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    Two comments.

    1. “Et homo factus est” is badly translated as “and became man,” as if meaning that the divine Person born of the Virgin Mary grew up and became an adult. True, but not what the Latin is saying. The Latin word here would be -vir- instead of -homo-, which means “human being.” The assertion in the Creed is that the second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity assumed a full human nature, including a human soul that animates the human body and that has its own intellect and will.

    2. Back to Orwell and and language: “Politics and the English Language”
    http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit/

  43. “Pro pollution” would be reframed as “plant food” which would at least make the phrase scientifically accurate and not ideological nonsense. Although when both sides reframe and reframe on ideological grounds, both sides will end up talking past each other. Although I can’t see how that can be helped if both sides are going to insist on putting ideology above reason.

  44. “for the court a foetus is not alive which is the true status of the feotus.

    What if a court holds that a Jew is not really a person?”

    What would be there argument?

    “It may live for a few moments”

    This is exactly what happens to 80% of fertilize egg and then another 20% of the eggs that survive to the point that a woman will know she is pregnant.

    What gives God the right to murder 80-85% of what pro-life member consider a person? At this point the greatest mass murderer is God in the the views of the pro-lifers argument.

    God is forgiven for killing 85% of fertilzed egg while women are diabolized for 20%of the reamining 15% or about 3% of all fertilized egg.

    From my point of view God is not a murderer and doesn’t consider a feotus a person until it is born viable and alive.

    “Does the cell of a foetus being alive means that a person is alive?

    Of course not.”

    Now that you admit that a few cells doesn’t make a person, how can you murder something that is not a human being?

    “Does the fact that a foetus kick and move means it is alive?

    It’s generally a good indicator that it’s animate.”

    The chicken and the twitching body is animate yet it still dead.

    It’s not because an electrician put the wires and lights in what will become a house later that it means that it is a house now.

    “For you to be right about the foetus being alive would mean that all cell would die at the exact same time

    Explain why you think that would be the case, for it makes no sense to me.”

    You say that anima is what gives lifes, yet the body is dead and some cell continue on living after the body is dead. There is difference between cells being alive and organism being alive.To be a person you need more than cells and twitching.

  45. Bob,

    Sadly for you Bob God doesn’t care about what you think about me or other sinner.

    I know enough to know that there is no hell, no Satan, no Beast, Devil, Moloch however you wish to call it. The only place it can live is in the heart of the people who do not believe in God but in false prophet. Hint all religion are false prophet.

    In your place I would worry a lot more about what God think of you.

  46. …I can’t recall a comments-section going off the rails so quickly, and so catastrophically, before!

    My suggestion is simple and straightforward: Teach your language and venerate its traditions, because that is how we manage to communicate with each other.

  47. Ye Olde Statistician

    October 8, 2015 at 6:44 am

    Sylvain, my two grandsons are of Arab ancestry (and so is neighbor, though there is no connection). I went to high school with Arabs and Our Lady of Lebanon is one of the churches in town here. I’m not sure why you think Bob hates Arabs, for I’ve not noticed it.

    Heck, I even have a French great-grandfather, and will admit it without a blush.

  48. Ye Olde Statistician

    October 8, 2015 at 7:38 am

    This is exactly what happens to 80% of fertilize egg and then another 20% of the eggs that survive to the point that a woman will know she is pregnant.

    We have reached the point where one must doubt your figures. I have been given to understand that the 80% represents incorrect joining of sperm and egg, and therefore not an actual human substance. This is much like a chemical reaction, in which the two constituents — say, amaline and ammonia — connect improperly in the hustle and bustle of bouncing molecules and produce compounds other than the wanted one.

    What gives God the right to murder 80-85% of what pro-life member consider a person?

    You are aware, are you not, that 100% of human beings die. How does that justify the killing of those who have not yet done so. I realize that this is logic, but try to follow: The fact that many die from natural causes does not justify imposing death by artifice.

    God is forgiven for killing 85% of fertilzed egg while women are diabolized for 20%of the reamining 15% or about 3% of all fertilized egg.

    You are aware, one hopes, that blame attaches only to individuals for individual acts. It is a leftist presumption that it attaches to statistical wholes like “women” over some broad percentiles.

    From my point of view God is not a murderer and doesn’t consider a feotus a person until it is born viable and alive.

    Such are the penalties for DIY theologizing.

    “Does the cell of a foetus being alive means that a person is alive?
    Of course not.”

    Now that you admit that a few cells doesn’t make a person,

    Flag on the play. That was not the question you asked. You did not ask if a few cwlls make a person, but whether the cell of a fetus being alive means that a person is alive. But it is the person being alive that makes the cells alive as part of the greater whole. Just as an electron in a valence shell behaves as part of an atom rather than as a free electron, the cells of an organism behave as, well, the cells of an organism and not as free cells in a Petri dish.

    The chicken and the twitching body is animate yet it still dead.

    Death throes mean the chicken is dying, not that it is already dead. The sudden loss of blood pressure can cause the body to twitch for purely mechanical reasons, like a basketball when it is punctured. A living thing is both the principle and the term of its own acts. (Which may be why “to die” was in Latin a deponent verb!)

    You say that anima is what gives lifes

    No, anima just is life. It is a formal cause, not an efficient one, like three-sidedness with respect to triangles.
    http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2014/07/in-psearch-of-psyche-some-groundwork.html et seq.

  49. “‘Et homo factus est’ is badly translated as ‘and became man,'”

    No, it’s accurately translated as “became man.” “Man” has more than one meaning in English; it’s often the generic term for the species. Witness the confusion engendered by Neil Armstrong’s omission of “a” from “one small step for [a] man”; the quote ended up being awkward because the intended distinction from “mankind” was lost when the article was elided.

    Perhaps you’d have an argument if the missals read “and became a man,” although even then the meaning would at worst be ambiguous.

  50. Briggs:
    I THINK you were taken in by The MAIL (I’m very suspicious of what they printed)
    You should have gone to the “source” of the article linked therein. It offers a much clearer and more sympathetic look at the situation. One of the quotes there was even apropos to this post.

    “it’s just this feeling of wrongness, andWHEN YOU PUT A WORD ON IT, it only becomes worse.”

    Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2015/10/04/6449059_transgender-soldier-endures-excruciating.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
    http://www.sunherald.com/2015/10/04/6449059_transgender-soldier-endures-excruciating.html?rh=1

  51. Correction : “I was taken in by The Mail”

  52. swordfishtrombone

    October 8, 2015 at 9:53 am

    “A phobia is an irrational fear”

    Most well-known phobias are actually rational; fear of heights or fear of spiders, for example.

    On the other hand, ‘homophobia’ strikes me as pretty irrational, so actually fits the definition of a phobia rather well. Being homophobic is equivalent to being scared of something which can’t harm you and which other people do in private, like baking cakes.

  53. Bob: Agreed. It’s not worth the time if someone has proven to be incapable of learning. It won’t stop someone from making incoherent comments, of course, but it might limit the damage and not waste your time.

    “Pro-pollution” used as JMJ uses the term would also imply that nature itself pollutes nature. That is a bizarre concept.

    Joe Born: The use of the word man is so diluted and condemned at this point that trying to see it in ancients terms may be impossible, since at this point, no one is even supposed to use the filthy three letter word. Science fiction rewrote itself to accommodate the insanity (for example, Star Trek Next Generation). Soon the word will be banished forever in pursuit of the fantasy that all humans are the same when they clearly are not. Huxley wins.

    Does anyone wonder why French, Spanish and other similar languages have not been forced to use a gender neutral form of words. English is the least gender biased of many languages, most of which have male and female adverbs, etc. Why was there no outcry to change la, le, les to one gender neutral form in French, for example.

    swordfishtrombone: Fear of heights is irrational, fear of falling is not. Fear of the pain of a spider bite is rational, fear of the spider is not. Homophobia doesn’t exist, so it really doesn’t matter whether it strikes you as rational or not. Heterophobia doesn’t exist either, so gays should not fear cake bakers.

  54. This is a brilliant article, Briggs. You’ve outdone yourself. I am very careful not to use the word ‘homosexual’ as it is a Modernist concept. Sodomite is more accurate.

  55. John B()…thanks for the video–it ended on a fitting note with the Cretan Liar paradox. And here’s another one (to be off topic). In a certain town there is a barber (male) who shaves every man who does not shave himself. Question: who shaves the barber?

  56. “Everybody knows what happened to Sodom and why.”

    Everyone except practicing Christians (and even probably not many of them), treat the story of Sodom in the same sense as one treats the story of Gilgamesh or the story of Siegfried and the Dragon. Homosexuals don’t like to be called sodomites not because they are ashamed about what happened to the city of Sodom. They don’t like the name for the same reasons Jews don’t like to be called Untermensch (sub-humans) by their detractors.

    There is a vast amount of self delusional thinking going on here… the problem of ideological fanaticism.

  57. swordfishtrombone

    October 10, 2015 at 9:34 am

    @Sheri:

    1. “Fear of heights is irrational, fear of falling is not” Now you’re being silly. Falling isn’t dangerous either, only hitting the ground is.

    2. “Fear of the pain of a spider bite is rational, fear of the spider is not.” In some parts of the world, you could die from a spider bite. Both your objections are semantic quibbles. I’m arguing that most phobias are based on rational fears. They are.

    3. “Homophobia doesn’t exist…” Argument by dismissal. Perhaps I shouldn’t have picked the baking cakes example, it was naughty of me!

  58. swordfishtrombone

    October 10, 2015 at 9:58 am

    @Mark Citadel: “I am very careful not to use the word ‘homosexual’ as it is a Modernist concept. Sodomite is more accurate.”

    WTF! What about lesbians? They are homosexual but not (necessarily) “sodomites”. What about heterosexual couples who engage in “sodomy”? The term is actually not accurate at all.

  59. Swordfishtrombone: Not semantic quibbles. Accurate language. Fear of falling is based on the reality that hitting the ground kills you. Unless you can fly or are hang-gliding, falling from great heights generally involves hitting the ground. Call it fear of hitting the ground at terminal velocity then.
    Definitions of phobias:
    (A)n extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something
    noun
    (B)1. a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.
    (C) A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not …

    All say “irrational” and I could add many, many more examples. Phobia was originally a psychiatric term that required the irrational aspect to be a diagnosis. Usurping it to slam people who don’t believe the same as the speaker does not change the meaning of the word.

    Rewording “There is no evidence that homophobia exists”.

    Now, in the same vein as other diluting of the language, it’s just a propaganda term used to bully people into believing or pretending to believe that a wrong idea is right for fear of being called “phobic”.

    If phobia is the correct term, then blackophobic would be used for blacks, policophobic of politicians, etc and term would mean an intense dislike for any reason. It would also replace “racism” since it often argued that people fear blacks. The original meaning of the term would be completely destroyed, but that appears to be the intent in all of this–make language gobbledegook and no one can accurately communicate. A self-imposed Tower of Babl.

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